This is the 4th showcase compilation from Dreamville Records. Founded in 2007 by J. Cole & his manager Ibrahim Hamad, the label has proven itself to be a dominant force in the mainstream hip hop world for the past decade with the Revenge of the Dreamers trilogy even though the last installment was a bit of a disappointment. However after giving a 24 hour notice & with Dreamville Festival returning this weekend, the crew is having DJ Drama host D-Day.
“Stick” by J.I.D, J. Cole & Sheck Wes finds the trio over a triumphant araabMUZIK instrumental talking about being strapped whereas the “Ghetto Gods Freestyle” by the EARTHGANG & 2 Chainz goes into a more skeletal direction even though I do enjoy the battle bars. “Lifestyle” by Bas & A$AP Ferghas a lot more meat on the bone thanks to Cole behind the boards with both MCs talking about the lives they live currently leading into the jazzy “Starting 5” by Cozz, Lute & Omen talking about having shooters.
Meanwhile on “Coming Down”, we get a full blown Ari Lennox solo cut asking when her mans is coming over a sample of Mary J. Bilge’s rendition of ”I’m Goin’ Down” just before “Hair Salon” by Cozz, G Perico & Reason finds the trio over a psychedelic Chuck Inglish beat pondering why anyone would talk shit about them. “Freedom of Speech” by J. Cole goes into chipmunk soul territory with the help of Jake One talking about the energy switching whenever he pops up, but then “Blackberry Sap” is yet another Ari Lennox solo cut that I find to be inferior to “Coming Down”.
“Like Wine” by Lute comes through with a dusty boom bap banger full of braggadocio while “Jozi Flows” by Bas & the EARTHGANG works in a flute to talk about being misunderstood. “Barry from Simpson” by J.I.D & 2 Chainz mixes some horns with snares encouraging listeners to get shit done while “Everybody Ain’t Shit” by the EARTHGANG follows it up with a fun “fuck you” anthem.
The song “Ballin’ in Newport” by Omen over a piano instrumental from Ging & !llmind while the “Big Trouble” by Cozz comes through with an impressive freestyle accompanied by samples from Doug E. Fresh, David Porter & The Trammps. The whole thing ends with “Heaven’s EP”, where Cole freestyles over the “Pipe Down” instrumental & killed it harder than Drake did.
Even though I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this compilation, I actually happen to like it more than Revenge of the Dreamers III. The production’s much better, they relied less on features given how inconsistent they were almost 3 years back & the whole roster come through with improved performances too.